Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Discover Belle Boyd, the celebrity Civil War spy who died while performing in The Wisconsin Dells.

Historical Essay

The Origins of Thanksgiving

Examining the historical evidence documenting the first Thanksgiving.

Historical Essay

Lumberjack Saved Union Fleet

Read this wild story about a Wisconsin Dells lumberjack applying his knowledge of dams to help Union forces escape a Confederate attack!

In 1959 Rev. A.A.A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsins rivers to discover where Menard likely died.

Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

The trial of Menominee Chief Oshkosh, one of the most famous in Wisconsin history, pitted Indian traditional justice against white man's law.

The story of Louise Williams who provided business and legal counsel for women who lived all over southern WI for five decades after the Civil War.

The first and only manifestation The Virgin Mary in the United States confirmed by Vatican officials happened near Green Bay.

Historical Essay

Death to Capital Punishment

Read about the final person to be executed in Wisconsin before the state prohibited the death penalty.

Historical Essay

English Tudor Logging Camp

The story of how the lumber town of Elchon, WI came to be as aesthetically pleasing as any main street in England or France.

Historical Essay

More Bank Failures (1857)

Discover the effects that the Panic of 1857 had on La Crosse.
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